The Caritas confederation has elected Aloysius John as the new secretary general for a mandate of four years. The election came at the end of the network’s XXI General Assembly during which Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle was reconfirmed as president.
Aloysius John is currently the head of institutional development and capacity building at Caritas Internationalis.
The representative council elected Aloysius John after four days of intense meetings to plan out the Catholic confederation’s strategic direction for the next four years.
In the final statement of the General Assembly all members of Caritas reaffirmed their commitment “to build a world where God is recognised as love, justice and peace; where solidarity is embraced by all, so there are no more excluded, exploited or abused; where all people live with dignity and where all of creation is cherished in our common home.”
During the General Assembly, Pope Francis received the 450-strong Caritas delegation in private audience at the Vatican and celebrated Mass with them in Saint Peter’s basilica. During the audience, the Pope told delegates that charity is an experience of Christ and mustn’t be transformed into a business or be something people do just to ease their conscience. Read the speech here.
In an event in Saint Peter’s Square at the beginning of the General Assembly, people from each region posted a photo of a migrant and refugee in a giant collage made up of faces of migrants and refugees, world leaders, CEOs of big companies.
Part of the Share the Journey campaign, the message of the artwork is that the we need to recognise ourselves as part of an “us” and that the future is in the hands of everyone, not just the most powerful people. Pope Francis completed the collage during the audience with Caritas by posting a photo of his father.
Four new member organisations joined the confederation at the General Assembly: Caritas Fiji and Caritas Kyrgyzstan are completely new. Caritas Colombia is rejoining and CHARIS is joining as the oversees aid arm of Caritas Singapore.
For the first time in history, the General Assembly held a youth and a women’s forum to lay the groundwork to increase the roles of women in leadership and the participation of youth within the Caritas confederation.
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